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By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 25th March 2014 at 12:00 pm
For quite a while, I’ve had to argue with my non-dance music loving friends that dance has heart. Peter Lawrie Winfield (pictured far right at top), aka the man behind Until the Ribbon Breaks further bolsters my theory, as he sings as soulfully as Bryan McKnight but to my glee, there are plenty of beats behind him. And he also plays trumpet! What doesn’t this man do?
Taken together, he’s one intriguing live performer indeed. I was so impressed by his appearance at the Universal Music Group takeover at the Palm Door on Sixth Thursday afternoon that straight after he got offstage, I asked him if we could do an interview and we agreed to meet on Friday afternoon, after he played the British Music Embassy’s showcase there. We talk about where the name of his act comes from, how he himself views his music and position in the business, his influences and much more. Have a listen to the interview below.
Thanks very much to the wonderful Pete for such a nice chat, and best wishes to you in Los Angeles!
In the middle of my hectic Wednesday night at SXSW 2014, I had the chance to sit down for what turned out to be a rather in-depth music discussion with two members of Kentish alt-folk group Cocos Lovers, Will Greenham and Phil Self. Will and Phil were kind enough to indulge my questions while they had a quick meal before their set at Esther’s Follies. While they didn’t end up onstage with Gabby Young and Other Animals on the night, they did have plenty to juggle for their own show. We talked about Cocos Lovers’ live arrangements and instrumentation, as well as their studio techniques and recording plans for the near future, and upcoming plans for a show with another TGTF-featured band.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 24th March 2014 at 12:00 pm
Those who know me well are aware that I could be quite happy living on a dance floor with good tunes. Whether I had seen it and missed it or I had completely missed it in the manic preparation for my and Carrie’s going out to Austin for SXSW 2014, but I was looking at my phone having my traditional Friday Irish breakfast at B.D. Riley’s with Carrie when I practically went into spasmodic delight that Colette was in town to drop some beats that night at Lanai Lounge on Congress Avenue.
This chat was entirely unplanned but dear Colette, bless her, agreed to meet me, probably her craziest fan from Washington, DC, at the Hilton for an entirely impromptu interview in the lobby even before she checked into her room. I asked her about her beginnings as a DJ in Chicago, what it was and has been like being a female DJ in a heavily male-dominated genre and setting up her own record label. Listen below.
Thanks very much Colette for being so kind!
On the Wednesday evening of SXSW 2014, I stopped by the Force Field PR Showcase at Maggie Mae’s for a chat with Scottish troubadour Withered Hand, aka Dan Willson. In one of the few quiet interviews I had in Austin, I asked Willson about his latest album, ‘New Gods’, and found him to be very forthcoming about his songwriting and recording process, his stage moniker, and his reasons for continuing his career in music.
I found it very interesting indeed that Willson was able give such a thoughtful and philosophical interview just before going on stage and giving what turned out to be an upbeat and lively performance. I was delighted to hear several of my personal favorite tunes from ‘New Gods’, including ‘Black Tambourine’, ‘Horseshoe’, and ‘King of Hollywood’, and only mildly disappointed that Willson and his band didn’t play ‘Heart Heart’ after we discussed it during the interview. (Have a listen to it below and form your own opinion.)
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 21st March 2014 at 12:00 pm
London band Longfellow were a long way from home Thursday night when they played the BBC Introducing night curated by indie music champion Steve Lamacq. However, when Lammo comes calling, you answer. Playing their first-ever show in the States in front of a rammed Latitude 30 at the British Music Embassy must have been nerve-wracking, but I was so pleased that three of their band – singer Owen Lloyd, guitarist James Thomas and drummer Tom Warhurst – were on hand and willing to sit down with me to chat about coming over for SXSW 2014 and what it meant to them to be playing such a momentous night, how they got signed to indie label Fierce Panda and the stories behind some of their most anthemic songs to date. Listen below.
Many thanks to the guys for chatting with me after their set!
As we hope you’ve already read, Mary and I spent the early part of our Wednesday of SXSW 2014 at the dark and hollow Empire Control Room for the iHeart Austin showcase (read Mary’s full recap here). Mary’s enthusiasm was still at full throttle, but by this point in the week, I was in desperate need of coffee and sunshine. We arrived early for the show, and luckily I was able to get a quick fix of both before the afternoon’s activities got underway.
I wasn’t familiar with any of the bands listed for the showcase, except of course for The Crookes, so I tried to go in with open ears and an open mind. This attitude helped me to discover two things: (1) the need for a set of earplugs, which I had to purchase in Austin because I didn’t own any, and (2) a new-to-me band based in Echo Park, California, called simply NO.
As I tweeted during their show, NO is a definite yes. This 6-piece band had a huge guitar sound, especially in the sparsely populated Control Room (this was a daytime show, and there was another gig going on outside), which necessitated the earplugs mentioned above. They reminded us a tiny bit of The National, in no small part due to the deep, menacing baritone of lead singer Bradley Hanan Carter, but also for their broodingly melancholic lyrics. Where The National are refined and restrained, NO are often more visceral and emotional, using their full array of instruments to greater dynamic and dramatic effect.
I was able to catch Carter after NO’s set for a very brief interview before he had to hurry off to their next engagement. The venue was incredibly noisy but we managed to get a quick soundbite about the band’s album, ‘El Prado’, which is out now on Arts and Crafts Records. Have a listen to the first track from the album, ‘Leave The Door Wide Open’, at the bottom of the page.
NO are Bradley Hanan Carter (vocals), Sean Daniel Stentz (bass), Reese Richardson (guitar), Ryan Lallier (guitar/keys), Simon Oscroft (guitar) and Michael Walker (drums). They are currently on tour in North America.